Breaking the Narrative Episode 110: A Red Comet’s Brightest Burn. A Character Review of Char Aznable in Zeta Gundam.


Now that I’m back from dealing with a week of birthday nonsense, lets get back to analyzing characters from Zeta Gundam! Why you may ask? Simply enough, there is a lot of content that to analyze from this classic series that can relate to today’s political tribulations. Before my break, I showed the crazed mind of a self-obsessed ideologue that thought himself the herald to the “World of Women” when all he was, was an abusive authoritarian. This week I show what happens when a man is exposed to the reality of the world through a red pill of sorts (trust me I see the irony) and full-on tries to achieve a positive outcome only to be embraced by the black pill.

Now I’ve discussed this character lightly before in relation to the variations of rivalry but here I seek to go into the long and complex history of a man with many names: Char Aznable! Now while I am going over him particularly in his relation to Zeta Gundam, it’s nigh impossible to not go into his overall influence on the entire Universal Century. He is that interwoven of a figure with this franchise, from the kindling of The Origin even to the events years after his purported demise. Casval Rem Deikun, as he was known at birth, has had a hand in every single event surrounding the mobile-suit-based wars of the Universal Century even to the point that he was an active participant in the first mobile suit battle. With that in mind Let’s Hammer This In!

As I mentioned before, Char was born as Casval Rem Deikun – son of beloved politician, crazed philosopher, and later namesake of what was once named Munzo: Zeon Zum Deikun, seen primarily as a zealot by the Earth Federation government Deikun had Casval, and his younger sister Artesia, with a mistress named Astraia. Officially he was married to Roselucia Deikun but due to illness from early in life, she was barren and also unable to keep up appearances, despite her fanatical devotion to the man. As such, she despised the younger woman, who was able to bear Deikun’s progeny, as she was able to be at his side as the face of the family. None of the leader’s associates or followers cared that he was more often seen with his mistress than his legal wife. They all treated it as an open secret and didn’t demonize him at all for it. Shocking, considering that such events would normally be considered a scandalous affair.

However when the man passed at the age of 59 while Casval was only 9 years old, it was said at times that he was exhausted constantly due to the fervor he had to display at all times. Not many could keep up such appearances, and this was known by his right-hand man Degwin Sodo Zabi. Zabi took advantage of Deikun’s fleeting strength to poison him and take his place as ruler of Munzo, soon to be renamed after their deceased patron. However, it was apparent to the entire Deikun family, especially to young Casval, that deception was in the air. They could all see Degwin’s envy of his supposed friend, and that he merely wanted the same power and adoration begotten to Zeon. As such, Casval and Artesia were entrusted to a confidant to the Deikun family named Jimba Ral, who escorted them off the space colonies to Earth before the Zabi family could snuff them out, too. Astraia, who had been so public with her mate, could not be spirited away with them and eventually died of grief-stricken illness. This greatly affected the young children as they cared deeply for both their parents.

To rally the people of Munzo behind him, the less-gallant and charismatic Degwin had it implied that the deaths of Zeon, who was revealed to have been poisoned, along with the disappearances of the entire Deikun family, were performed by the Earth Federal Forces. This was done to use Casval’s and Artesia’s purported death as a motivator to break away from the Federation and become a sovereign state, a Duchy or Principality, with Zabi as Duke and his children as high ranking military officials, much akin to early 20th century Austria and German states. Their actions would later be revealed to be closer to those of Nazi Germany with the genocide of entire colonies. But I digress trying to set the stage.

After Jimba and the Deikun children arrived on Earth, they ended up living in Andulusia, Spain with a magnate that had ‘officialy’ adopted them named Don Teabolo Mass. Under his care, they were given the names Edouard and Sayla. For a time they lived relatively peacefully, Casval working through his restlessness on his new ‘father’s’ grounds and young Sayla, who had fully adopted her new identity, glad to be able to have some comfort, gained an affinity for medicine. Her bedside manner was aided greatly by not only the Newtype gifts the siblings would develop throughout their lives, but the inherent charisma they inherited from their true father. It was a happy time, until they were besieged by assassins sent by Kycilia Zabi, who was tasked to ensure they never return. After Casval had easily fought off the assassins using his keen Newtype senses and natural affinity for battle, the wounded Teabolo decided they needed to go into a more neutral area.

Jimba didn’t survive the struggle but the now Mass family went to stay with friends at a colony in the Side 5 sector of Earth’s orbit named Texas. It is here that Casval meets the friend he would eventually fully replace, and become the namesake of for the bulk of his life, Char Aznable.  It is here that Char begins his spiral of death and vengeance. After finding a tail at a specific point, he starts to show his brutal side. Aznable states his intent on joining the Zeon Military for genuine reasons. Char decides to take advantage of their extremely similar looks (only differing by eye color) to have Aznable be killed by a bomb meant for him, and he take his ‘friend’s’ place in ‘service’ to the Zabis. It’s here that he would start using sunglasses to hide his true identity, claiming damage to his eyes as to throw off people who knew Aznable before Char took his place. This didn’t quite work, however, and a friend of the ‘friend’ gave Char a more convincing disguise before being betrayed during what would be called the Dawn Rebellion.

Char truly became the name he claimed, and started to get close to the youngest of the Zabis, Garma, to initiate his plans for revenge on the entire Zabi family for their crimes against him and his family. From here, he drifts after being discharged by Garma’s brother Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi, and meets who would be the love of his life, the Newtype girl Lalah Sune. Saving her, he eventually works his way back into the Zabi family’s favor and Dozle assigns him to a prototype Zaku I for a secret mission to secure the platform’s developer Doctor Trenov Y. Minovsky. Due to the bumbling of one of the other pilots, Minovsky was killed. However, Char’s performance in this battle earned him respect from the Vice Admiral, who allowed him to work on setting up the suit that would net him his nickname of The Red Comet, the MS-06S Zaku II.

From here, the Battle of Loum occurs and begins Char’s performance that would make him, at the age of 19, a Lieutenant Commander, and net him his own ship known as the Musai Falmer. Without going too in depth, the events of the One Year War occur, and after Char finishes his revenge, he escapes with the remaining Zeon forces to Axis where he helps oversee Dozle’s daughter and the last of the Zabi clan, Mineva. It is here he decides his vengeance is complete and and he can leave the life of Char Aznable behind.  After making the excuse of going in to scout he claims the name Quattro Bajeena and infiltrates the Earth Federal Forces, once again donning sunglasses to keep anyone from recognizing  him as either Casval Rem Deikun or Char Aznable. The year is 0083 and soon after, what will eventually be erased as Operation Stardust will occur. It is here seeing the practices of the TITANS that now Lieutenant Quattro decides to team up with what would become the Anti-Earth Union Group or AEUG for short.

At this point, having seen the horrors that have happened to the planet, he and those who allied with him have decided the best course of action is to, from within the system, try to convince the whole of humanity to emigrate into the colonies. This is not only so they can evolve into Newtypes (which scares the powers that be after what they witnessed of Newtypes over the past 10 years of combating such people) but also to allow the planet much needed respite. At the age or 26, Char had become an idealist who wanted to make his father’s dream of evolving to the next step a reality. However, due to the events of the GRYPS Conflict and watching from the background, seeing the atrocities made by Neo-Zeon after the TITANS were wiped out, he decided that he would revive his former identity and take more drastic measures.

In other words, he had fully accepted the black pill, and through a perversion of his desires and idealism, became the same type of zealot his father was, only more dangerous because he was willing to kill to get what he desired. So, he created his own Neo-Zeon group and moved the asteroid Axis into Earth’s orbit. With suicidal intent, he tried to drop the asteroid, which over took the size of the small handful of colonies, onto the planet. Thankfully, this extreme reaction was stopped by Amuro Ray in his Nu Gundam, resonating with the psychoframe unit in Char’s Sazabi cockpit to create what would be known as the Axis Shock, a burst of energy that united the will of humanity to save the planet and pushed the asteroid out of entry and back into orbit.

This was possible due to Amuro being able to come to terms with Char back when he was still Quattro Bajeena. This was a pure bond between men who worked past hating one another and even became friends though, they still saw each other as rivals. In fact with the intent of having one final duel with his rival, Char flat-out gave Amuro the Psychoframe technology he developed in order to ensure that they were on equal footing, a favor to the man he viewed as his friend and equal.

But as I said before, his death is not the end of his legacy. Due to the efforts of Zeon scientists, Char was cloned into a Cyber-Newtype known as Full Frontal. Dubbed as Char’s Second Coming, Frontal, through the Neo-Zeon remnant group the Sleeves, developed effectively a less violent variation of Char’s initial plan, dubbed the Side Co-Prosperity Sphere. This would be a Spacenoid-only economic bloc that would deny the trade the Earth had become dependent upon, to force the Earth Natives to emigrate into space through starvation.

However it is the pilot of the Unicorn Gundam, Banahger Links, that tells Full Frontal flat-out that this would only result in more hatred and disdain and eventually lead to another war, only ending the conflict of Char when Banahger, effectively through his full Psychoframe Mobile Suit and Newtype resonance, discover time-travel. That’s right, the end legacy of Char Aznable would be the discovery of time-travel, which is being covered in the current-running series Gundam NT or Gundam Narrative.  Yes, I realize how amusing that is.

So what can we glean from the life of tragedy and despair that is Char Aznable? First, is that no one is irredeemable. Char had performed some heinous acts but even in the end of his existence he was able to be forgiven even by his greatest rival. Men by their very nature are forgiving creatures and are willing to excuse a lot in the name of what’s best. Not only that, but he is the epitome of a tragic anti-hero. Most importantly, Char is relatable. Being put through the trials and tribulations he has been, any of us can become just as destructive. This means not only keeping ourselves grounded in reality but also learning when to step back from it all and find some enjoyment in life, something to take solace in. That’s why defending not just Men’s rights is important, but our pastimes of fiction, fantasy, and hobby as well. Without either of these we become nihilistic husks willing to take down what we take issue with by any means necessary.

Look at our opposition and don’t hate them, but pity them. They have shown an inability to truly enjoy anything. As such, they’ve played themselves, even more so than that, it will annoy them to no end to show them you don’t hate them, because their entire narrative is built upon their claim that we do hate them, and hate everything they stand for. Their outrage will eventually burn out like a shooting star. Then they will fade. The more we face them with temerity, the more quickly they will expose their insanity. This is what I think Jordan Petersen’s secret is when combating their ideas directly. Am I saying I agree with everything Petersen has said? Gods no. I merely credit his approach as viable.

So next week I’ll probably cover something different before going on an overview of the main character of Zeta Gundam, Kamille Bidan, if only to be a little more varied with my content this year. I could have covered Jack Thompson’s return this week but I have covered the arguments there enough times. I can’t believe anyone takes Thompson seriously, to be quite frank. Perhaps I’ll cover something more political next week, we’ll see. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely!

Alex Tinsley
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About the author

Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.

By Alex Tinsley

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